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View Full Version : Steam Suggestion: Make Steam friend list available to Trillian, Meebo, etc


mechTigerhawk
11-28-2008, 01:27 AM
One thing that has always bugged me was having 2 separate IM systems. I always have people messaging me from AIM while I'm playing, and I don't always have access to Steam, which makes it difficult to talk to friends when they are playing a game.

Making a chat client that supported many different protocols in Steam would be a little too difficult, especially to make it work in the overlay. What I'm suggesting is only half of this: release an API or documentation on the protocol that Steam's friends uses. That way, people can make a plugin for Trillian, Digsby, etc. that would let us chat with people on Steam. So far, the only issues I can see are those with bots/security and viruses, but I think the warnings that are given after clicking a link somewhat stop this.

Anyone else want to see something like this, or see any other problems?

Yzmo
11-28-2008, 05:17 AM
Yup, that would be very useful.. A simple SDK would do, most multiproto apps have communities that would be happy to make a plugin..

Aemaeth
04-08-2009, 05:43 PM
Came across this thread when I was looking for a way to get Trillian to interface with the Steam overlay. Bump for a great idea.

TheByrus
04-08-2009, 09:07 PM
Alternatively you can open Meebo with the Steam overlay web browser and have all of your IM accounts while in-game.

thknave
04-26-2009, 03:46 PM
There might be a way to write a plugin for an existing messaging client (ie: Pidgin) to hook into Steam's GameOverlayRenderer.dll and basically render said IM client inside the steam overlay.

Of course, that would involve completely deconstructing GameOverlayRenderer.dll, which I haven't a clue how to do...

Edit: hmmm...Mangr0v3 makes a good point. Now that really makes me want to try it and see, though :(

Mangr0v3
04-26-2009, 05:19 PM
That would probably break the EULA and would most likely trigger VAC.

hypermx
11-07-2009, 07:02 AM
Bump. I would also like Steam Friends to be available at Trillian chat. :p

someguy23
11-12-2009, 07:13 PM
This would be nice, but don't see it happening any time soon. :(

Aemaeth
01-21-2010, 09:31 AM
That would probably break the EULA and would most likely trigger VAC.

I don't think the game overlay is part of VAC. There are times when the overlay never starts for me and I join VAC servers without getting kicked, so I don't think it has anything to do with it. It would probably break the EULA to reverse engineer it, but it's not exactly something that's reasonable to enforce.

Fuzz Bucket
01-21-2010, 09:37 AM
How about just making the necessary parts open-source?

I don't know of any successful chat protocols that are not open-source.

Sturmeh
01-21-2010, 11:37 PM
Steam isn't going to open up it's Chat protocol, because the same auth system governs the DRM that protects the Games you have rights to.

However I would like to see support for Windows Live + ETC in the Steam overlay.

I find I often cut off conversations in Windows Live because It's too tedious to alt-tab for each message, and I usually direct them to Steam if possible. (Not always the case.)

What we REALLY need is a plug-in interface for the Steam Overlay, I mean you can already open the web browser and use Meebo or some other IM service whilst your playing games but there needs to be extensible ui.

For example people may find a calculator totally useless when playing CS, but I'd love to pull up a Python console and add some figures when playing Killing Floor to work out how much my Shotgun will cost me once I've leveled, etc.

Fry-kun
01-22-2010, 12:54 PM
I agree with OP - I would like it very much if Steam allowed 3rd party chat clients.
There are no extra security risks, since users would still need to have a Steam account and would authenticate against Steam servers -- and Steam admins can still kick/ban whoever they see fit. There's no spam/bot/virus issue here, status quo is maintained in that regard.
But there IS one issue which prevents all of this -- if users sign in with 3rd party client, they won't see any ads that Steam makes you watch normally.
So I guess nothing will change as usual.

Krid
01-22-2010, 05:45 PM
That would require that you give a third-party program your username and password.

Valve will never allow that.
Never.

Maybe, though, you could bribe them with enough cash so that they'd be willing to code plug-ins that pass Steam IMs through to a third party program.

But there IS one issue which prevents all of this -- if users sign in with 3rd party client, they won't see any ads that Steam makes you watch normally.

Wait, what ads? o.0

Fry-kun
01-22-2010, 08:28 PM
I mean the ones that pop up and say "Oh hey there's this new game in our store!! GO BUY NOW!". Those ads.

What's the big deal about giving my username and password to a 3rd party program, if I trust that program? In this case, that program can't play for me, can't cheat for me, can't do anything except let me chat from work without firing up Steam.

By the way, there's one 3rd party application that currently knows my steam username and password - my password keeping application. And yet I don't see Valve Co. suing the makers of that program. Nor is FBI knocking on my door :P

Jagged Tooth
01-22-2010, 08:48 PM
I mean the ones that pop up and say "Oh hey there's this new game in our store!! GO BUY NOW!". Those ads.


Those ads can be turned of by un-ticking a box in the settings menu

Fry-kun
01-22-2010, 09:00 PM
Ah, then I don't see any reasons to disallow this.
But having dealt with plenty of companies (large and small), I'm sure they'll not allow anything anyway.

Krid
01-24-2010, 08:30 AM
I mean the ones that pop up and say "Oh hey there's this new game in our store!! GO BUY NOW!". Those ads.

That's the Steam Update news function, and you can turn that off.

What's the big deal about giving my username and password to a 3rd party program, if I trust that program?

The issue is that you're letting somebody know your username and password.
They're concerned with people hijacking accounts. You know, like those phishers who keep taking over your friends accounts so they can use them for more phishing?

Believe it or not, Valve DISLIKES IT when their users get hacked.

In this case, that program can't play for me, can't cheat for me, can't do anything except let me chat from work without firing up Steam.

... or jacking your account, if they turn out to be less trustworthy than you thought.

By the way, there's one 3rd party application that currently knows my steam username and password - my password keeping application. And yet I don't see Valve Co. suing the makers of that program. Nor is FBI knocking on my door :P

*facepalms*
The issue isn't legality, it's stupidity. On the part of a user. Like you.

The difference here is that you're ASKING Valve to ENCOURAGE people to hand their passwords over to a third-party company, and that is never going to happen.

Fry-kun
01-25-2010, 05:01 PM
A technical approach to this problem would be to let user create a 2nd password - one that would work for chat only. If anyone hijacks that, worst they can do is send some spam messages. And you'd be able to reset the pass from your main account login.
But that's extra feature implementation, would take time and $$

toejam316
01-26-2010, 06:20 AM
I'd LOVE to have Game Overlay plugins. Make it happen D:

richard.eid
01-26-2010, 10:03 AM
Krid makes a really great point. For example, open-sourcing the chat protocol would mean that you'd be allowed to login to Steam Friends through a program like Pidgin. I bet most people didn't know this about Pidgin:

PlainTextPasswords (http://developer.pidgin.im/wiki/PlainTextPasswords)

So forget about giving your username/password to a third-party client. In plain-text, you're giving your username/password to the entire world.

I don't know about Valve not appreciating it, but I surely wouldn't. Yeah, it'd obviously be optional. But how many people know this about Pidgin? How many would even really care? I mean, if you lose your account, you just contact Steam Support and get it back, right? All these extra Support incidents all because chat is open source now. So for me, who might have a legitimate issue, I'll have to wait longer to get my ticket answered because someone logged in to Steam chat through Pidgin.

I vote no for open-sourcing Steam chat.

Fry-kun
01-26-2010, 01:40 PM
That's correct, pidgin does not encrypt saved passwords -- on the computer where you're using it. The reasoning for this is simple -- if someone has access to your computer, they could just as easily install a keylogger and get your password that way. No matter how many locks you put on the front door, a vault is not secure if it has a janitor's door that's propped open all the time.
But as I said, if user could create a chat-only password, this would be a nonissue.

Accophox
02-04-2010, 03:39 PM
It's clunky, but if Valve implemented something like twitter's OAUTH system, then you could definitely do it.

Program asks for steam community name -> redirects user in web browser to steam community page where it asks for user's username/password -> successful, return OAuth key permitting access to the chat API. User can now chat on steam in <program that implements SC chat API>

No password ever is stored in plaintext, and is safely still controlled by valve and user.

Jagji56
02-04-2010, 05:09 PM
They way the STEAM friends is set up, I don't think this will happen. However, Xfire have recently gotten MSN, ALO and Twitter to work with there program, allowing you to talk to MSN or ALO friends while in a game. Not sure how the twitter thing works tho. And they are planing to put more in too, so it mite be the way to go.

rgonzruiz
04-02-2010, 04:58 PM
I agree... either the OAuth option or the second password option both achieve a safe way of allowing access to steam's chat service/api without compromising the main user's account. This is doable and Valve should look into it.

Cakoluchiam
04-23-2010, 12:49 PM
It is possible for Trillian to interact with other chat clients without giving it your account name // password. Look at the way it interacts with Skype: you still have to have Skype running in the background and all you do is let Skype allow Trillian to trigger login/logoff/message send/message receive/etc. and vice-versa (Skype still is the only one that saves your account credentials). The same concessions could be given with a Steam API without opening up access to game hacking. Steam chat already runs in the background anyway. You wouldn't even have to give access to login/logoff.

Journeyman
04-23-2010, 03:39 PM
Due to the fact that chat login is the same of the complete account, it would be easier and safer for valve to add libpurple in their chat program and use that not only for SteamChat but also for .NET Messenger, Oscar, Yahoo, XMPP, and so on.

mikeloeven
04-24-2010, 11:07 AM
I mean the ones that pop up and say "Oh hey there's this new game in our store!! GO BUY NOW!". Those ads.

What's the big deal about giving my username and password to a 3rd party program, if I trust that program? In this case, that program can't play for me, can't cheat for me, can't do anything except let me chat from work without firing up Steam.

By the way, there's one 3rd party application that currently knows my steam username and password - my password keeping application. And yet I don't see Valve Co. suing the makers of that program. Nor is FBI knocking on my door :P



of course you just admitted on a public forum that you did this. hey look a bunch of black unmarked suv's just drove by on the way to your house XD. but yeah steam has every right to be paraniod about this in fact i just blew the whistle on an account hijacking scam a few months ago. they were offering free games sponsered by nvidia and it sent you to a site in china that asked for your username and password. btw it was an exact clone of the community page if you didn't read the url anyone would have fallen for it. if steam releases a chat sdk whats to stop some hacker from getting ahold of it and making a fake program that steals your passwords.

an alternative to the chat login client would be to steal the system eve uses for it's 3rd party support. instead of logging on to your acount you download a api key from the website and enter it into the application. now the application doesent know your username or password but the key allows it to read your stats and other information. you could use a similar system that allows the chat client to send recieve im's withought having the full permissions of a normal login. now you will be able to chat but the program wont know anything aside from the key and it will only allow access to the chat and friends system.

georgechalkias
06-12-2010, 11:26 AM
can anyone help me how to add friends without buy games?

Amander
06-12-2010, 11:42 AM
Ask the people to add you.

FoXoF
06-12-2010, 03:53 PM
I'd just like to point out the steam friends chat protocol is already partially documented here: http://imfreedom.org/wiki/Steam_Friends

A chat client project just needs to complete the documentation, implement it and they're done.


There is nothing illegal about implementing a protocol. AFAIK it's not patented or protected by copyright law. You dont need to debug or reverse engineer steam to do this either.

Fuzz Bucket
06-12-2010, 04:29 PM
Working on an Adium plugin.

AdmiralMemo
09-11-2010, 02:01 AM
It is possible for Trillian to interact with other chat clients without giving it your account name // password. Look at the way it interacts with Skype: you still have to have Skype running in the background and all you do is let Skype allow Trillian to trigger login/logoff/message send/message receive/etc. and vice-versa (Skype still is the only one that saves your account credentials). The same concessions could be given with a Steam API without opening up access to game hacking. Steam chat already runs in the background anyway. You wouldn't even have to give access to login/logoff.That's exactly how I thought a Steam Trillian plugin would go down anyway.Working on an Adium plugin.If you get it up and running, would it be easily ported to other things, like Trillian?

SCBTripWire
09-15-2010, 10:15 AM
Hey! Not everyone has a supercomputer at their disposal. Steam itself requires far more than enough resources as it is, don't ask to make it even more bloated!

(typed from my Athlon 64 (running 32-bit XP) with 2GBs RAM).

dalponis
11-09-2010, 04:35 PM
Yup, would love a plugin for Trillian to give us Steam Friends access.

twidget64
11-10-2010, 02:18 PM
PC Gamer UK ran a post a little while back about essential PC Gamer apps, and one program they suggested was Raptr. Its a chat program similar to Trillian, but works with Steam, Facebook, Xbox Live, PSN, Yahoo, AIM, Google, MSN, and some others I think.

Check it out at raptr.com

Fuzz Bucket
11-10-2010, 03:31 PM
That's exactly how I thought a Steam Trillian plugin would go down anyway.If you get it up and running, would it be easily ported to other things, like Trillian?

Not exactly.

Atlantis1982
11-10-2010, 03:51 PM
I would <3 to see at least a plug-in to have Steam Friend's List be part of Trillian.

dalponis
12-14-2010, 01:55 PM
Steam in Trillian '11.

Reinholder
01-19-2011, 08:25 AM
PC Gamer UK ran a post a little while back about essential PC Gamer apps, and one program they suggested was Raptr. Its a chat program similar to Trillian, but works with Steam, Facebook, Xbox Live, PSN, Yahoo, AIM, Google, MSN, and some others I think.

Check it out at raptr.com


I tried raptr, and it was awful - just simply, truthfully awful. I mean worse than teamspeak or xchat is for me. I think the only way a cross IM allowance would happen, would be as someone here has suggested - hooking into steam in the way skype does...Not that I have an issue with that.

Plantman
01-19-2011, 08:40 AM
I'm AGAINST this. Releaseing SDK to their account software would be unwise. People would take it, rework it, and cram it into worms that brute force on to steam from infected computers and then spam me, Brute force game keys, and other stuff that either lags out the system, annoys me, or both.

I think it would be a HORRIBLE SECURITY RISK.

Reinholder
01-19-2011, 06:22 PM
I'm AGAINST this. Releaseing SDK to their account software would be unwise. People would take it, rework it, and cram it into worms that brute force on to steam from infected computers and then spam me, Brute force game keys, and other stuff that either lags out the system, annoys me, or both.

I think it would be a HORRIBLE SECURITY RISK.

Oh, well. If it annoys you, it can't possibly be worth exploring, as you were clearly made supreme overlord and are the only one of us allowed valid, reasoning ideas for improvement. I bow to your superiority.

Mangr0v3
01-19-2011, 06:25 PM
I'm AGAINST this. Releaseing SDK to their account software would be unwise. People would take it, rework it, and cram it into worms that brute force on to steam from infected computers and then spam me, Brute force game keys, and other stuff that either lags out the system, annoys me, or both.

I think it would be a HORRIBLE SECURITY RISK.

People can already do this without an official SDK.

erifneerg
01-27-2011, 01:49 AM
To every yapping about "security risk", please look read about OAuth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OAuth).

OAuth (Open Authorization) is an open standard for authorization. It allows users to share their private resources (e.g. photos, videos, contact lists) stored on one site with another site without having to hand out their credentials, typically username and password.

Mangr0v3
01-27-2011, 02:28 AM
Valve already use an apparently heavily customised (and mostly broken) form of OpenID.

erifneerg
01-28-2011, 01:33 PM
really?! that's crazy. Do you have a source on that? what/how are they using this form of OpenID?

OAuth is suppose to work with API's and I'd imagine that what this varition of it does.

Mangr0v3
01-29-2011, 03:56 AM
http://steamcommunity.com/dev

Steam OpenID Provider
Steam can act as an OpenID provider. This allows your application to authenticate a user's SteamID without requiring them to enter their Steam username or password on your site (which would be a violation of the API Terms of Use.) Just download an OpenID library (http://openid.net/developers/libraries/) for your language and platform of choice and use http://steamcommunity.com/openid as the provider. The returned Claimed ID will contain the user's 64-bit SteamID. The Claimed ID format is: http://steamcommunity.com/openid/id/<steamid>

jouva
02-09-2011, 12:46 AM
I don't think they should do an SDK of the ACCOUNT portion. Just of the IM portion. If they make it so other programs can buy games, that's gonna be bad. The messaging portion would definitely be nice though.

The one issue there is that the protocol isn't TCP based like most IM solutions are. It's completely UDP based. So Pidgin might require a lot of reworking just to make it work, and I don't think valve wants to redo their IM protocol just to allow for external connections. An SDK to talk to an existing TCP solution? Sure I could see that. But I don't see them doing that.

Amander
02-09-2011, 07:29 AM
There is a project around the web somewhere to reverse engeneer the Steam Friends chat.

As for redoing the protocol, I hope Valve will do it someday. Redoing the protocol is required for offline messages anyway and they are a useful feature.

mouton
02-09-2011, 08:33 AM
They could just make it XMPP-compatible.

Like others said, there are tons of ways to make it secure and not require you to give out your main steam credentials.

Amander
02-09-2011, 09:19 AM
They could just make it XMPP-compatible.

Like others said, there are tons of ways to make it secure and not require you to give out your main steam credentials.And all of them have one disadvantage in common: The whole system needs to be redone.

mouton
02-09-2011, 08:24 PM
And all of them have one disadvantage in common: The whole system needs to be redone.
High bloody time, I say.

dalponis
04-24-2011, 12:36 PM
Any word on this?

Sturmeh
04-24-2011, 01:07 PM
That would probably break the EULA and would most likely trigger VAC.

VAC does not use heuristics.
(It will only trigger when a known cheat is being used in tandem with an engine it is designed for.)

Modifications like this may very well be against EULA however.

+1 for XMPP compatibility!

mystrdat
08-01-2011, 03:37 PM
+1 XMPP

vitorrd
10-02-2011, 09:30 PM
Just wanted to add my support here.
Steam is a great platform, but conversations is all you want at times. Please help Cerulean on this, Valve.

nshopik
10-23-2011, 01:57 PM
BTW, EA origin already using XMPP for chat, just FYI. So steam have to keep up, while steam still way ahead of origin, it's nice to have feature.

zblade
05-15-2012, 07:52 AM
+1 this is a feature I would love to see too

xjcontrerasx
10-03-2012, 09:43 PM
Yes, this needs to be added, we need a way for IM Developers to be able to hook into Steam friend's chat through an API readily available for anyone willing to code a plugin for their chat client.

SUPPORT!